Thursday, October 31, 2013

SSB - Excerpt from "The Mercies of Cinderella" by Ken Charles


Welcome Saturday Spanking Bloghoppers and all you ships at sea. Here is a selection from "The Mercies of Cinderella": 

Elder screamed. Step Mother raised the brush again, and brought it down with another resounding crack. Whack! Crack! Smack! Elder screamed again and again. The Black Justice Wood brush, which would give no pain where none was warranted, left another pulsating, rubescent weal with every smack. Crack!

“Aiiiieeeee!”

“How dare you lie about your sister? Have you no shame?”

Whack! Smack! Crack!

If Elder had earlier vowed to keep her modesty, as the fire in her nether cheeks rivaled and then surpassed the blaze that lit her visage, such vows were forsaken, as she kicked and squirmed so that everyone in the lower right gallery was treated to a fine view of all of her treasures. Crack! Crack! Crack! 

                                                  ~*~




Check out The Mercies of Cinderella by Ken Charles
This is no Disney princess!





Payback is a bitch, and so at times is Cinderella. Cinderella is about to marry Prince Charming. Her evil Step Mother and Stepsisters have been convicted of high treason for their conspiracy to prevent the Prince from finding his true love, and are awaiting sentencing. Before the Prince passes sentence, Cinderella asks to take them into her custody for a year to determine whether she may speak on their behalves. The Prince grants her request, and remands the Step relations to one year under the tender mercies of Cinderella.

During this year, while Cinderella basks in the boundless love of the Prince and the joy of her first pregnancy, she applies the hard lessons she learned growing up to her Stepsisters, expressing her concern for their moral edification and well being with various paddles, straps, and even the scopula of a giant trap-door spider. Step Mother, who taught her that nothing in life is free, has to pay for her keep with sexual favors for all who provide her with any goods or services.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

INTERPRETING YOUR NEW PUBLISHING CONTRACT

     A publishing contract is like any other contract. It establishes a business relationship between the author and the publisher. It is not an admission to a private social club. Although an author may feel privileged and proud to have a work under contract, the purpose of the contract is to exploit and disseminate the author’s work, not to stroke the author’s or the publisher’s egos. 

I. “Shall” vs. “May”

     The publishing contract sets out the road map for the parties’ dealings, specifying what actions are required and so must be performed, and what actions are permitted and so are within the parties’ contemplation, but may or may not occur. Mandatory or required actions are frequently, though not exclusively, found in a clause containing the word “shall”.

Section 3--Within ten (10) days of the execution of this Agreement,  Author shall deliver three, right justified, printed copies of the Work on 17”x 23.529411” green paper to Publisher at Suite 123, Drilling Platform 138, North Sea.

Under this Section 3, the Author is required to deliver three copies of the work in a specific form, at a specific place, within a specified time period. Failure to perform any of these requirements constitutes a breach of the contract. Even though 20” x 20” paper has the same total surface area as 17” x 23.529411” paper, Author is required to use the latter paper.

     Permissive actions are frequently, though not exclusively, found in a clause containing the word “may”.

Section 4—Author may, in its sole discretion, substitute an electronic copy in PDF format for any written document or notice required or permitted to be sent under this Agreement. Any such substituted document or notice may be sent by facsimile transmission or e-mail in accordance with the contact provision of Section 3, 287 of this Agreement.

Under this Section 4, Author has the right, but not the obligation, to fax or email a document, rather than send a printed copy.

II. Basic Contract Construction

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride (1987)

     The primary purpose of putting the parties’ agreement into writing is to make the parties’ rights and obligations clear. Unfortunately, sometimes the agreement isn’t as clear as the parties expected. Courts assume that everything in a contract was put there for a reason. Accordingly, wherever possible, a court will attempt to give meaning to every word in a contract. Therefore, just because the parties may disagree as to the meaning of a contract clause, it does not follow necessarily that the contract clause is ambiguous or unenforceable as written.

     Courts rely on a number of different kinds of rules for interpreting a contract. The most important rule, of course, is one that supports your position. That said, let’s take a look at a few of the more common rules.

     The first rule of contract construction is that there is no need to interpret a contract if the meaning is clear. Words are given their plain and ordinary meanings. If a simple reading will suffice, then a court will look no further.

Section Five—Author shall stand on the corner of Fifth Ave and Main Street in a chicken suit for one hour, commencing at 1:00 p.m. central standard time, on the third Tuesday in each calendar month containing the English letter “Y”.

This Section Five provides clear and unmistakeable direction. Author is required (“shall”) to stand in a specified place, at a specified time, for a specified duration, in a specified manner of dress. There is no question as to Author’s obligations under this clause. A court will not resort to any rules of interpretation beyond the plain and ordinary meaning of the words in the clause. (The wisdom of such a clause is not the court’s concern. The clause was important to the parties or it wouldn’t have been included in the contract.)

     If there is some question as to a party’s rights or obligations under a particular contract clause, the next step is for a court to look at the contract as a whole to determine the meaning of clause.

“The maxim noscitur a sociis, that a word is known by the company it keeps, while not an inescapable rule, is often wisely applied where a word is capable of many meanings in order to avoid the giving of unintended breadth…”  JARECKI v. G. D. SEARLE & CO., 367 U.S. 303 (1961)

     The meaning of general words that follow specific ones is limited by the meaning of the specific words.

"The rule of ejusdem generis, while firmly established, is only an instrumentality for ascertaining the correct meaning of words when there is uncertainty. Ordinarily, it limits general terms which follow specific ones to matters similar to those specified...” Gooch v. United States, 297 U. S. 124297 U. S. 128 (1936)

Similarly, contract clauses that are specific take precedence over general clauses (generalia specialibus non derogant rule). Although the Publisher may have the general right to control the cover design, if the Author has the right to review or reject a cover, that exception will take precedence.

     Another rule of construction worth noting is the rule that “the expression of one thing excludes other things” (expressio unius est exclusio alterius). Sometimes, what isn’t included in a contract is just as important as what is. When a contract clause expressly provides that the Publisher has the right to do “A”, “B” and “C”, then it does not have the right to do “D”. If the Publisher has the right to review and correct the text, that does not mean that it has the right to line edit and change those portions of the text that are not erroneous. The right to correct means that the Publisher can fix mistakes such as closing open quotations and replacing misspelled words with the proper spelling. It doesn’t mean it can change the Author’s word choices.



     Finally, while there are other rules of construction, one rule particularly needs mentioning. When all else fails, and a contract provision’s meaning is still unclear, then a court will construe a contract against the party that drafted the provision (contra preferentem rule). In most cases, the contract will be drafted by the publisher, and presented to the author on a “take or leave it” basis. In such a case, where any doubt remains as to the meaning of a clause, the court will construe the provision in question against the publisher.

III. The Zipper Clause

"Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-... That's all, folks." Porky Pig

     Somewhere near the end of the contract, there is probably a “zipper” clause. The zipper clause (also known as a “merger clause” or “integration clause”) states that the contract represents the entirety of the parties’ agreement. Any other writings or representations to the contrary are of no force or effect. What the court sees, is what it gets. A strong zipper clause can cause a court to ignore evidence about what was discussed in the formation of the contract (parol evidence).

     It is important before signing a contract with a zipper clause to make sure that the contract fairly and accurately reflects Author’s negotiations with Publisher. If the Publisher talked about sending Author to an all expenses paid writer’s retreat in Fiji, it better appear in the contract. If it doesn’t, Author will not be permitted to argue, “But they said they would. That’s why I signed the contract."



IV. Non-compliance – Cure – Termination of Agreement

“Once more unto the breach” Shakespeare

     A failure to follow the requirements of a contract is known as a “breach”. While every breach of a contract constitutes some kind of violation of a party’s rights or responsibilities, there is no hard and fast rule about the parties’ course of conduct following a breach. Some breaches can be fixed or “cured”. Other breaches cannot be fixed, and may lead to claims for damages and/or termination of the contract.

     How the parties respond to different breaches depends in part on their general course of dealings. If the parties have been dealing professionally and respectfully with each other, then it is more likely that minor breaches such as sending a document a day late where time is not of the essence will be ignored by the receiving party. However, where there is antipathy between the parties, even minor breaches may become major issues.

     Treating the other party professionally is more than a mere platitude or common sense. I recently had a problem with a publisher that had total control over the cover of one of my works. When I raised my concerns over the proposed cover with the publisher, instead of attempting to address those concerns, the publisher claimed its rights to control the cover under the contract. However, instead of stopping at an assertion of its rights, the publisher chose to add in gratuitous ad hominem attacks on me for having the audacity to question its judgment. When the publisher committed several breaches of the contract that were time sensitive and could not be fixed or cured prospectively (a bell once rung cannot be unrung), I exercised my right to terminate the agreement. Had the publisher addressed my concerns over the cover in a professional manner, even if I was unhappy with the final result, I might have been more forgiving of their subsequent breaches.

     Some contracts may include specific procedures for handling alleged breaches. For example, a clause may require the aggrieved party to notify the offending party of the nature of the breach, and give the offending party a certain amount of time to fix or cure the problem. However, if the breach is not cured in a timely manner, the offended party may be entitled to certain specified damages, or may even be entitled to terminate the contract. If there are specific procedures in the contract for raising the issue of a breach with the other party, then the complaining party may be required to follow those procedures before seeking relief in a court.

V. And in Conclusion…

     The best contract is one that the parties never need to consult. By maintaining a professional relationship, it may be possible to resolve many issues without ever resorting to the agreement. However, if it becomes necessary to review the contract, then be sure to read not only any provision in question, but also any other provisions that may help you understand it. Finally, when in doubt, don’t be afraid to consult with legal counsel.

CK 2/19/12

Sunday, October 13, 2013

CHALLENGING ONESELF AS A WRITER: KEEPING THE SEX SCENE REAL


As a fiction writer, my characters can do anything I want them to, any time, any place, any way. But as any Spiderman fan knows, “With great power comes great responsibility.”  It isn’t enough to place a sex scene in an unusual setting.  There is more to a sex scene than merely making the female and male parts fit together. The scene still has to be believable within the context of the work.

When it comes to writing a sex scene, I have a basic checklist:

A) Set up: is there enough background to support the scene?

Tom dropped the letters into the mailbox slot. He flipped the door several times to make sure that all of the letters fell into the box. Mary, a tall, buxom business woman waiting to deposit her letter tapped her foot impatiently. He turned to her, “Is there a problem?”  Their eyes met, the untamed fire in hers immediately lighting a fire in his groin. He ripped open her blouse as she unfastened his belt.

This scenario doesn’t seem likely even for a hand-held camera, 8mm black and white porno. There needs to be a believable build up, however unlikely the setting. Part, or even a substantial portion, of the build up can occur offstage in indirect action. But the buildup is still necessary. The more improbable the setting, the greater the need for a solid foundation for a sex scene. Even if the scene is just casual sex for the sake of having sex, the characters still need to connect in a believable manner. If the reader remains skeptical that the characters are about to have sex in the scene, then the scene will fail.

B) Foreplay: is there enough?

Bill hit “play”, and set the remote on the arm of the black, leather couch. He put his arm around Suzy, who snuggled closer. She turned her head, and opened her mouth for a kiss. His tongue met hers as he rucked up her skirt. He drove into her powerfully, as relentless as a force of nature.

This is a bit thin on details. The reader is probably going to need a bit more information on their feelings and reactions to tactile stimulation before reaching the “force of nature” bit.

C) Temporal consistency and mechanics: does the sex scene work from a technical point of view?

One problem that I’ve found in sex scenes that I’ve edited is that the mechanics of the scene are off. In one memorable scene, the couple is coupling fiercely. Two paragraphs later, she unzips his slacks and takes his cock out. Being old fashioned, I suggested that the paragraphs needed to be reversed. In another scene, the man held her breast in one hand and fingered her dripping pussy with the other. She moaned as he pulled her hair. My question as the editor was, pulled her hair with what? His teeth?

D) Originality: 1) what makes this scene different from the other sex scenes in the book?

Chapter Three: Mary slowly did a scissors split, impaling herself, as she slid down Tom’s long, thick rod until she was filled.

Chapter Seven: Suzy swung her legs out of the pike position, and flipped one leg over each of the parallel bars. She spread her legs until they were straight out at her sides in a perfect split. Bill reached around her and grabbed her breasts as he slid his long, hard shaft into her until she was filled.

Been there, done that. Yes, Mary was in the bedroom, and Suzy was in the gym. But the novelty of a woman doing the splits wore off after the first time. One of the splits has to go. If the reader really likes the splits scene, then s(he) can reread Chapter Three. Chapter Seven needs to give the reader something new.

2) Word choices?

How many times do the same words or variations on a root word repeat?  Using “throb”or “throbbed” in every sex scene will bore the reader at best, or at worst, produce a throbbing headache. Find some new adjectives. If in Chapter Three, Mary “slid” until “she was filled”, then in Chapter Seven, Tom’s actions need to be something other than “slid” until “she was filled”.  I would need to find a new verb for “slid”, and a new adjective for “filled”.

In Earth Angel, there was a brief stand alone sex scene that my editor wanted to cut because she didn’t think it added anything. I disagreed because I wanted to change the pace at that point, and work on character development rather than plot development. The scene stayed after we discussed its purpose. But to make sure the scene added something, I still had to make sure that it fit within the internal logic of the overall story, and didn’t merely rehash stock footage from a prior sex scene.  

CK Copyright 2012.  Moral rights to be identified as the author of the foregoing article asserted worldwide (including in Great Britain in accordance with Sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act of 1988).
****************************************************************************

EARTH ANGEL By CHARLIE KENMORE
Blurb: There are seven parallel worlds known as the Seven Realms which are separated by a Veil. Six are inhabited by all manner of entities, some natural, some not. That may not be the case for much longer. The first portion of the High Sidhe Prophecy of the Sevens has been fulfilled. The Anarch, who is one with the Veil, has escaped. If she chooses, she can part or drop the Veil or she can lift the Veil in its entirety. The Seven Realms will converge. The laws of physics and magic will collide head on. Unless she is stopped, there will be nothing left.

Queen Amura has called for an assembly of the signatories to the High Sidhe's Second Accords, a multi-realm peace treaty to consider how to deal with the threat of the Anarch. An Earthside TechnoWitch and other dark forces also are  seeking to control the Anarch. Prince Dzhok (Jack), High Sidhe Ambassador Salash (Jack's oldest friend and lover), and Valkyrie Brunhilde set out to find and befriend the Anarch before all is lost.

(you have to register-free)

Excerpt:


Jack took a moment, and then he saw the light. Unfortunately, it appeared to be attached to an oncoming train. Jack was no pacifist. Like Salash, he would kill to protect his children (and had). But as a pansexual high blood Prince of the Human Whisperers and Allied Kinds, "make love, not war" was not a mere platitude, but rather was the very core of his being. Jack knew that he would have little influence on the upcoming gathering in Paradox. This was not a symposium. It was a war council. The outcome was fairly certain. His Mother and her allies would seek to kill the Chosen. And they would fail miserably.

"We have to find her first."

"Exactly, Jack."

You've got mail.

Salash reached over and pulled the MAPP out of Jack's pocket. She rolled down her window, and with a flick of her wrist, sent it pin wheeling into a fresh steaming pile of bison dung. Salash paused and scanned the tree line. She was fairly certain at least one of the shadows had flinched. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Ken Charles's The Mercies of Cinderella is out!

Check out The Mercies of Cinderella by Ken Charles
This is no Disney princess!

http://www.blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=2551&welcome=1

Payback is a bitch, and so at times is Cinderella. Cinderella is about to marry Prince Charming. Her evil Step Mother and Stepsisters have been convicted of high treason for their conspiracy to prevent the Prince from finding his true love, and are awaiting sentencing. Before the Prince passes sentence, Cinderella asks to take them into her custody for a year to determine whether she may speak on their behalves. The Prince grants her request, and remands the Step relations to one year under the tender mercies of Cinderella. 

During this year, while Cinderella basks in the boundless love of the Prince and the joy of her first pregnancy, she applies the hard lessons she learned growing up to her Stepsisters, expressing her concern for their moral edification and well being with various paddles, straps, and even the scopula of a giant trap-door spider. Step Mother, who taught her that nothing in life is free, has to pay for her keep with sexual favors for all who provide her with any goods or services.

**************************************
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Escape, Enjoyable Read October 17, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I loved it! I love the author's vocabulary. I have a fairly extensive vocabulary myself, and I get so tired of the same old words and descriptions being used and reused and overused. It's really amazing when I actually have to look a word or two up in the dictionary! This author has a wonderful way with words. We read to be entertained. We read to escape for a time, and fantasize. This book delivers. I will definitely be looking for more by this author.